Naturopathic Medicine

Regulation and Licensing;

Naturopathic Medicine is regulated in BC under by the College of Naturopathic Physician of BC, http://www.cnpbc.bc.ca. It requires a 3 years of pre-medical postsecondary education, followed by 4 years at an approved naturopathic college, and completion of NPLEX (North American board exams) and practical BC licensing exams.

Naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.

-AANP

Core Principles:

Primum Non Nocere, First do no harm

Vis Medicatrix Naturae, The Healing Power of Nature *

Tolle Causam, Identify and Treat the Cause

Tolle Totum, Treat the Whole Person

Docere, Doctor as Teacher

Preventare, Prevention and Health Promotion

* This principle is often forgotten in today’s world. It comes from Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived 2400 years ago, who first formulated the concept of “the healing power of nature”. Which means, that all of nature, all living things, us humans, too, have the power to heal, the power to be healthy. 

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Therapies:

Clinical Nutrition, a comprehensive assessment of each individual’s unique needs and deficiencies allows a Naturopathic Doctor to devise an effective plan focused on a sustainable diet of whole foods and may include specific supplements and minerals when required.

Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture treatments, tailored nutritional, botanical and lifestyle prescriptions dependent on constitutional diagnosis. 

Botanical Medicine, the use of specific plants as medicine has an extensive history that extends beyond written human history. It is also the source of most compounds being used in modern pharmacology. Plants have the ability to assist us with our healing, by providing immune support, antimicrobial function, soothing and calming support,  hormone balance, along with a multitude of other properties. Due to the strength of many herbs, Naturopathic Doctors are extensively trained in their safety and use required diligence in regards to  interactions (specifically possible herb-drug interactions).

Homeopathy, this medicine is based on the principle that we have the ability to heal ourselves. By supplying the body with a minute amount of substance, it stimulates one’s vitality to rebalance itself to health. Due to the highly dilute remedies used in this therapy, it is has fewer risks of interaction with pharmaceutical medications. It is also a great therapy for more sensitive people; including infants and children. Although it has less risk of interaction, it is nonetheless a very powerful therapy and capable of enabling big changes toward healing.

Hydrotherapy, the use of water for healing led was used by the founders of naturopathic medicine (including Sebastian Kneipp). It is a highly effective method of stimulating the body’s innate ability to heal. Through the application of contrasting temperatures of water, one’s immune system, circulation and lymphatic system are stimulated, this enhances immune function and detoxification, which are at the core of most healing processes.

Physical medicine, part of a complete treatment plan may include certain physical modalities, including specific exercise prescriptions based on individual needs.

Lifestyle Counselling, as our society is becoming more aware – our mental health impacts our overall physical health (see my post of epigenetics under ‘about me’). Adapting and developing an awareness of our mental well being is central to ensuring ideal circumstances to heal.

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